noun, plural Gypsies.
a member of a nomadic, Caucasoid people of generally swarthy complexion, who migrated originally from India, settling in various parts of Asia, Europe, and, most recently, North America.
Romany; the language of the Gypsies.
(lowercase) a person held to resemble a gypsy, especially in physical characteristics or in a traditionally ascribed freedom or inclination to move from place to place.
(lowercase) Informal. gypsy cab.
(lowercase) Informal. an independent, usually nonunion trucker, hauler, operator, etc.
(lowercase) Slang. a chorus dancer, especially in the Broadway theater.
(lowercase) gyp1 ( def 4 ).
of or pertaining to the Gypsies.
(lowercase) Informal. working independently or without a license: gypsy truckers.
Also, especially British, Gipsy, gipsy.

1505–15; back formation of gipcyan, aphetic variant of Egyptian, from a belief that Gypsies came originally from Egypt

gypsydom, noun
gypsyesque, gypsyish, gypsylike, gypseian, adjective
gypsyhood, noun
gypsyism, noun
non-Gypsy, noun, plural non-Gypsies. Unabridged


1 [jip]
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), gypped, gypping.
Informal: Sometimes Offensive. to defraud or rob by some sharp practice; swindle; cheat.
Informal: Sometimes Offensive. a swindle or fraud.
Also, gypper [jip-er] , gypster. Informal: Sometimes Offensive. a swindler or cheat.
Also called gypsy. an owner of racehorses who also acts as trainer and jockey.
Also, gip.

1885–90, Americanism; back formation from Gypsy

Gyp in the meanings “to swindle” or “a person who swindles” is sometimes perceived as insulting to or by Gypsies, since it stereotypes them as swindlers. However, gyp has apparently never been used as a deliberate ethnic slur, and many people are unaware that it is derived from Gypsy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To gypsies
World English Dictionary
gyp or slang gip1 (dʒɪp)
vb , gyps, gypping, gypped, gips, gipping, gipped
1.  (tr) to swindle, cheat, or defraud
2.  an act of cheating
3.  a person who gyps
[C18: back formation from Gypsy]
gip or slang gip1
[C18: back formation from Gypsy]

gyp2 (dʒɪp)
slang (Brit), (NZ) severe pain; torture: his arthritis gave him gyp
[C19: probably a contraction of gee up!; see gee1]

gyp3 (dʒɪp)
Compare scout a college servant at the universities of Cambridge and Durham
[C18: perhaps from Gypsy, or from obsolete gippo a scullion]

Gypsy or Gipsy (ˈdʒɪpsɪ)
n , pl -sies
1.  a.  a member of a people scattered throughout Europe and North America, who maintain a nomadic way of life in industrialized societies. They migrated from NW India from about the 9th century onwards
 b.  (as modifier): a Gypsy fortune-teller
2.  the language of the Gypsies; Romany
3.  a person who looks or behaves like a Gypsy
[C16: from Egyptian, since they were thought to have come originally from Egypt]
Gipsy or Gipsy
[C16: from Egyptian, since they were thought to have come originally from Egypt]
'Gypsydom or Gipsy
'Gipsydom or Gipsy
'Gypsyhood or Gipsy
'Gipsyhood or Gipsy
'Gypsyish or Gipsy
'Gipsyish or Gipsy
'Gypsy-like or Gipsy
'Gipsy-like or Gipsy

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"to cheat, swindle," 1889, Amer.Eng., probably short for Gypsy.

1600, alteration of gypcian, a worn-down M.E. dial. form of egypcien "Egyptian," from the supposed origin of these people. Cognate with Sp. Gitano and close in sense to Turk. and Arabic Kipti "gypsy," lit. "Coptic;" but in M.Fr. they were Bohémien (see bohemian),
and in Sp. also Flamenco "from Flanders." "The gipsies seem doomed to be associated with countries with which they have nothing to do" [Weekley]. Zingari, the It. and Ger. name, is of unknown origin. Romany is from the people's own language, a pl. adj. form of rom "man." Gipsy is the prefered spelling in England.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Gypsies definition

A nomadic people who originated in the region between India and Iran and who migrated to Europe in the fourteenth or fifteenth century. Most now live in Europe and the United States. Their language is called Romany. Thousands were murdered in the holocaust.

Note: One who lives a footloose, carefree life is sometimes called a gypsy.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences for gypsies
He mistakenly finds his way into the court of miracles, the secret lair of the gypsies.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature